Andrea Dearden Apr. 24, 2013, 8:10am

A St. Clair County doctor is accused of using an experimental procedure during a back surgery without his patient's permission.

Thomas Eberhart filed a lawsuit April 4 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Dr. William Sprich, M.S.A. Alliance LLC, doing business as Neurological Surgery of Southern Illinois, and Protestant Memorial Medical Center Inc., doing business as Memorial Hospital.

Eberhart was a patient of Dr. Sprich in 2010 for treatment of lower back pain, according to the complaint. In July 2010, Eberhart says Dr. Sprich performed a lumbar laminectomy on his back, a surgical procedure to remove a part of the vertebral bone. A bone fusion was also attempted during the surgery at Memorial Hospital, the lawsuit states.

During the surgery, Dr. Sprich allegedly used an experimental flexible device instead of a standard rigid one, something Eberhart says he didn't know until an MRI was performed in April 2011. Eberhart claims the use of the experimental instrumentation led to a lack of bone growth and a failed lumbar fusion.

Eberhart accuses Dr. Sprich, Neurological Surgery of Southern Illinois and Memorial Hospital of negligence for allegedly using an experimental procedure without his consent. He asks for more than $150,000 in damages for medical expenses, loss of income and court fees.

Attorney Christopher M. Donohoo of East Alton represents Eberhart.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-182

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